7 Ways We Had to Grow Up as New Parents

Until Bugaboo was born, I didn’t realize how much we were “baching it.”  My husband had been living with his parents when we got married, so he had never lived the bachelor life.  I often found myself surprised at some of his habits.  But because we were in a new marriage, I didn’t want to make a big deal about little things.  When Bugaboo was born, though, I looked at our lifestyle in astonishment.  There was nothing about it that screamed “parenting.”  We weren’t on the same maturity level our own parents had been when we were toddlers.  We both knew we had to grow up quickly if we were going to be a good example to Bugaboo.

Sacrifice

The hardest part of adulting for me has been not having enough free time.  Some people value possessions, others value experiences.  What we need to learn to value are other peopleStaying home with Bugaboo has been a huge sacrifice for me – I’m painfully aware as I live each day of the sacrifices I’m making to be with her.  Whether it’s reading the same story 800 times, changing a diaper while she rolls around, or getting up six times a night when she’s sick, there are times that being a parent is not fun at all.  It’s my job to internalize that sacrifice and not blame her.  I have to remind myself that life is not about getting to do the things I want to do – it’s about living for God and hoping to go to heaven some day.  As my husband reminds me, we’re supposed to be unhappy on earth.  And ultimately, when I can make little sacrifices with a smile on my face, I know I’ll truly feel like a mom.

Not Cussing

I’ve always had a pretty mild vocabulary.  But my husband has a bit of a potty mouth at times.  I attribute it to the influence of his awful coworkers.  Everybody knows accountants can swear like sailors, right?  Regardless of where it comes from, he has been known to utter a profanity here and there – usually to himself.  I often remind him that he cannot continue to talk that way when Bugaboo begins to listen, and he agrees.

Old habits are hard to break, though, and as Bugaboo begins to speak I will probably have to implement some sort of profanity jar to help my husband break his habit.  Perhaps he will be motivated the first time he hears her repeat a curse word.

Eating What Is Served – Even Vegetables

The variety of fresh fruits and vegetables I have added to my diet since graduating college has almost grown exponentially.  Unfortunately for Bugaboo, right now I tend to eat my vegetables crispy and fresh – which isn’t good for baby led weaning.  My husband has to have dip on his veggies.  I want to teach Bugaboo to eat a variety of food, and I know we are going to have to grow up and start working harder to incorporate vegetables that she can eat into our diet.

Another issue is that my husband has that macho trait of not always eating what the family eats.  If I cook a meal that he’s not in to, he will say, “That’s ok, I’ll just make a sandwich.”  I swear, I have encountered this attitude in every husband in my social circle, so it must be a guy thing.  We have talked about how we will have to eat what we’re served when Bugaboo is around.  It’s important for us to eat family meals and to eat the same food.  To help practice as new parents, we are working on taking small portions even of the things we don’t want to eat.  In addition, I make sure to incorporate my husband into the meal planning for the week so we don’t make something he won’t eat.

Put the Ice Cream In a Bowl

We have not developed such bad “baching” behaviors that we drink out of milk cartons.  But we are pretty close.  Both of us have been known to eat directly out of ice cream containers or to take bites out of a pie and put it back in the fridge.  We do this so much that I worry about guests coming to stay with us.  Can we kick the habit for seven days while my family is here?  Well, now that we have Bugaboo, it’s time to grow up and kick the habit entirely.  I don’t want her learning to eat out of containers.  When she gets older, she may be a guest in others’ houses, and I want her to know polite behavior.

Praying

There are eras in our life when we are awesome at praying together every day.  Other times, we mutter our prayers half-asleep as we slip into bed.  Part of growing up means incorporating a family prayer time – and not necessarily when we are doing the dishes or taking a walk.  We need to set family prayer as part of Bugaboo’s bed time routine.

But having prayer as part of our lives is more important than just teaching Bugaboo to pray.  We need to have an active prayer life to be able to meet the challenges of being Bugaboo’s parents.  It’s not just about when we pray, but what we pray about.  We should be praying for her future husband.  We should be praying for her health and safety.  We should never stop praying for her.

Not Speaking Negatively About the World

When it comes to politics, I am likely the biggest offender in our family.  It’s the way I was raised.  It was important to me to marry a man who shared my political views, but my husband doesn’t necessarily enjoy talking about politics.  Still, we both tend to look through the day’s headlines and make negative comments.  No matter what your political views, it’s easy to take a negative view of the world when you are reading headlines.  I don’t want to scare Bugaboo!  I want her to look at the world as a place the provides lots of opportunities to follow her dreams, not be afraid that the world will end before she reaches the age of 20.

If we can grow up a little more and stop talking about negative events, then in addition to helping Bugaboo we will help ourselves.  We can add so much positivity to our lives just by cutting the negative out.

Being Respectful of Family and Others

I’ve had my fair share of disappointments with my in-laws.  My husband has been supportive in taking my side when the in-laws seem to gang up against me.  We have both encountered difficulties at times with my side of the family.  So many times I have told myself that I need to lighten up about my in-laws.  They are, after all, my husband’s family.  He can’t enjoy hearing nothing but negative comments about them.  Besides, I know it hurts me when he speaks ill of my family.

So often I’ve failed to live up to the expectations I set for myself.  If I can’t grow up and be respectful of my husband for his sake, I need to do it for Bugaboo’s.  These in-laws are her family after all.

In general, we shouldn’t be speaking ill of any others, especially not around Bugaboo.  When I was growing up, my dad had a bad habit of speaking negatively about other people.  I learned the bad habit of valuing people on their merits instead of seeing the good in them.

I want to teach Bugaboo to respect everyone and to give people the benefit of the doubt.  I want her to love others not judge others.

Sharing

I’m a youngest child, so sharing is not my strong suit – especially when it comes to tasty treats!  Since we have been married, my husband and I have been engaged in a friendly struggle over sharing.  He is trying to teach me to share.  I need to grow up and share more.  In addition, I need to show Bugaboo how important it is to share – especially if we are to have more children.  I can’t just teach Bugaboo to share by making her “share” her ice cream with me.  I need to show her examples of sharing – I need to grow up and start sharing with my husband.

 

I think that if my husband and I can grow up in time to model responsible behavior to Bugaboo, we can make these good old days even better!

How did you have to grow up when you became a first time parent?

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1 Comment

  • Trish @ The Trish List August 28, 2018 at 1:01 am Reply

    I love this. I just recently had a baby and it really does hit you in the face quickly on how different your life becomes. I am 35 years old and have lived a life before little man came into my world. Now I am relearning how to be patient and to share my time. It is really eye opening but so worth it!

    Trish
    http://www.thetrishlist.com

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